Spanish Mission ‘fit and ready to go’, pending Melbourne Cup vet test

Spanish Mission will undergo a veterinary inspection at midday on Friday, but Tony Noonan says he expects the Melbourne Cup fancy to be passed fit to run after overcoming a swollen right foreleg.

Noonan, who is looking after the horse on behalf of British trainer Andrew Balding, believes the horse knocked his foreleg playing around in his box at Werribee, but ice has reduced the swelling and the second favourite won’t miss any work preparing for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.

Spanish Mission during trackwork at Werribee Racecourse last week.Credit:Racing Photos

The Chosen One and Delphi will also be inspected on Friday at Flemington after showing mild lameness in a vets’ inspection on Thursday.

“[Our vet] is completely happy with him,” Noonan said of Spanish Mission.

“We scanned it yesterday and there was no sign of any damage, no ligament, tendon, bone damage. We don’t think it’s a sprain.

“By deduction, you can get to the point where there’s only a little bit of swelling there, so it must be from a knock. He wears boots in his work so we doubt it was in his work.

“His box was a little bit turned upside down, so he’s obviously had a roll and he’s probably hit it getting up, which they can do, and then left for three or four hours.”

Noonan said the swelling had reduced since Thursday.

“It would be like you making a tap on your ankle and if you left it for a couple of hours, there’d be some swelling there and a little bit of pain,” he said.

“But this morning he’s as good as gold. We’ve been able to treat him, ice and water and those sorts of things. We’re waiting on Racing Victoria’s vets to have a look at him at midday, and we’ll all be on the same page.”

Because of high winds across Victoria on Friday morning, Spanish Mission did not work at Werribee in the morning. But Noonan said that would not interrupt his preparation.

“The plan was to do a gallop with him this morning but under the circumstances of the weather, we wouldn’t have done it anyway,” he said.

“We’re in no different a position than if we didn’t have this hiccup. He doesn’t need a lot [of work], the horse is in the right spot, he’s fit and ready to go.”

Four other horses are due to be inspected on Friday ahead of Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup – Future Score, She’s Ideel, Fun Fact and Derby contender Forgot You.

More to come

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